When it comes to technology careers, retail companies may not be top of mind. However, as consumers have shifted to shopping online and the desire for fast, efficient solutions has grown, retailers such as The Home Depot have built expansive technology and e-Commerce teams that offer incredible opportunities to build a career, supported by an innovative and inclusive culture. We recently sat down with three hiring managers from The Home Depot to learn more about what it’s like to work in Technology and e-Commerce at the world’s largest home improvement retailer, along with jobseeker tips.
Jayashree Ram, senior manager of software engineering, who has been with the company for 22 years, shares that The Home Depot continuously supports and encourages its employees to learn and grow. “There has never been a dull moment,” she said.
Porsche Williams, senior manager of online customer experience, believes the collaborative culture and servant leadership style make it easy for her to advocate for the company, especially when interviewing potential employees.
Lastly, what attracted Shannon Iannizi, senior manager of online product management, to The Home Depot was the company’s success. She was drawn to the numerous accolades The Home Depot has recently garnered in the e-commerce space and was excited to be a part of influencing the company’s continued growth.
Read on to find out more about why these Home Depot associates (and hiring managers!) are proud to “Bleed Orange.” Not to mention, pick up tips on why networking is so important if you’re looking to build a career in retail technology, and how to do it successfully.
Why did you choose to pursue a technology career at The Home Depot? What is unique about building a career in this space that readers should know about?
Jayashree: I have been with The Home Depot for 22 years now. Initially, the reason why I chose The Home Depot was because it had the technology stack I wanted to pursue and develop within. Later, I was able to learn and grow not in just one tech stack, but multiple ones. There has never been a dull moment because The Home Depot offers endless opportunities to pivot to a new functional and technical domain with the utmost support and encouragement.
Porsche: I have a true passion for technology and customer experience. At The Home Depot, I found a place where I truly fit in. During my time, I have had the ability to put on my entrepreneur hat and leverage new technologies and implement new processes and functionalities with the support of my leadership.
As you build your career, I think you must have a genuine passion for technology, and most importantly, you cannot be afraid to try something new. When I walk into a store or shop online, I get really excited when I see new functionalities, and will test them out on my own.
Shannon: One of the main reasons why I wanted to pursue a career with The Home Depot was due to pure performance and growth – we rank No. 5 across all e-commerce retailers (according to Forbes) in U.S. retail e-commerce sales. The company is also recognized by L2 Gartner, giving The Home Depot its Best-in-Class Digital IQ Index rating for the last six years. Additionally, Forrester rated our mobile app No. 1 in retail in 2019. What an awesome time to be working for such a successful organization!
I also wanted to be a part of influencing our potential for further growth in the digital space. At The Home Depot, we can help customers more easily find solutions for their projects through the capabilities we build. Through our agile processes, we can determine right away whether what we built is successful, or where there are opportunities to pivot and improve. This is very different from physical product management, where you make decisions on a product that may or may not be a success almost a year or more in advance.
What is your favorite part about being a Hiring Manager?
Jayashree: I really enjoy the opportunity to seek out and connect with candidates from a diverse pool. I also enjoy hiring college graduates, understanding their needs (including mentorships) and offering them the right opportunities to flourish in their careers.
Porsche: I love being able to meet amazing people. My heart smiles when I can give someone an opportunity to get closer to their professional dreams.
Shannon: I get to screen talented individuals to help ensure we have the best fit for not only the demands of the role, but for the larger organization. That is a huge responsibility that I take very seriously because it's not just about filling a role. It’s about bringing in people that could be future leaders at The Home Depot.
As a Hiring Manager, what are some things about The Home Depot that you always make sure to highlight when talking to a candidate?
Jayashree: The Home Depot is a leading retailer in the industry when it comes to software development practices, technical stacks, and cloud computing. We empower and encourage our engineers to explore and implement new technologies and development practices. Additionally, we have a set of eight core values at the company which we take seriously and live by daily.
Porsche: I always highlight our culture, our customer focus, and the entrepreneurial spirit we encourage all of our associates to exude.
Shannon: Success at The Home Depot requires associates to be flexible, to be able to analyze a problem both quantitatively and qualitatively to determine the best solution, to be collaborative, and to be able to build strong relationships.
What’s one thing The Home Depot does that you think is particularly unique or unexpected?
Jayashree: The Home Depot does a great job at encouraging its associates to give back to the community by providing a variety of opportunities throughout the year. Additionally, The Home Depot is fantastic at taking care of its associates.
Porsche: “Team Depot,” which is our associate-led volunteer force that completes service projects in communities all across the country, is unique and truly helps a hiring manager identify a cultural fit. It's quite amazing. When I'm interviewing and I share this aspect of our culture of giving back and working in our communities as a team, I find that the individual that is most excited about helping others tends to be a better fit within our culture.
Shannon: The Home Depot’s approach is one that empowers teams to actually own how they strategically solve business problems.
As a Hiring Manager, what are the top qualities you look for in a candidate?
Jayashree: I look for a team player that possesses a can-do positive attitude and is hungry to learn about technology and coding. The ideal candidate understands the functional domain and value well before developing code. If a candidate has the right attitude, I believe they can do anything.
Porsche: I look for passion, the ability to be a future leader and the ability to collaborate with others for future success.
Shannon: I look for resilient leaders who manage complexity well.
What’s your #1 piece of advice for women seeking jobs in tech or e-Commerce right now?
Jayashree: Opportunities in these fields are endless, so be confident, market your personal brand, and seek a mentor.
Porsche: Don’t be afraid to shine! Bring your true self to the interview and have the confidence to speak up and share why you are the best person for the job.
Shannon: Be persistent and resilient and you will eventually land the role you desire. That being said, network as much as possible and ensure your “toolbox” includes many of the requirements for the role you’re looking to land.
What virtual resources or networking opportunities would you recommend to active jobseekers?
Jayashree: Take advantage of LinkedIn and be on the lookout for relevant industry events or meetups.
Porsche: A recommendation or referral goes a long way. Find someone you know that works for the company and ask them to refer you to the hiring manager. Leverage your LinkedIn network and be confident to reach out and discuss your interest in working for the company. The key takeaway is that you should leverage your network.
Shannon: Make LinkedIn your best friend. Join groups in the space you want to be in, both online and in-person (post-COVID).
Fairygodboss is proud to partner with The Home Depot. Find a job there today!